INJECTION MOLDING: New-Concept Robot at NPE

Novel two-arm configuration has a total of 16 servo axes.

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To stimulate new approaches to injection molding automation, Yushin America, Cranston, R.I., unveiled a dramatic demonstration of an all-servo “concept robot” consisting of two Cartesian-type arms, each with six axes (including servo wrist) mounted on one beam and angled toward each other to permit them to work together like a pair of human arms. A sliding and rotating gripper on the floor below the arms added two additional axes, for a total of 16. The two arms can work independently or together to handle large or heavy loads that would be difficult or impossible for one arm. At the show, the two arms picked up and manipulated a heavy bowling ball.

Yushin also debuted the “super-fast” HST-600DS linear servo robot, the largest in this high-speed line, for presses from 500 to 725 tons. It has two main arms for use with stack molds. It’s a larger cousin to the model HST-150 for 100-200 ton presses. It’s said to offer an attractive balance of speed and price—which has dropped significantly to less than $40,000. It offers <0.4-sec takeout and <4-sec overall cycle.

Incidentally, Yushin has begun a 77% expansion of its Cranston facility, adding 24,500 ft2 to the existing 47,000 ft2. Current plans call for doubling the number of robot assembly bays, and tripling them in the next two to three years. Construction should be complete by late spring.